All over America first time candidates are running and winning.
If you are managing one of these political campaigns or helping to manage one—remember, everyone started somewhere.
Sadly, the political consulting industry sometimes has an incentive to make things complicated. And a few things you might need to do to run a successful political campaign online are a little complicated.
But not that complicated.
At the very heart of the matter is what you are trying to say and who you are speaking to.
If you can knock on a door and have a successful conversation with a voter—you can replicate that success online.
Think about what you do at the door.
If you walk up to a house and there are toddler toys on the front porch—you might start thinking about your position on universal pre-school before you ring the doorbell. If there is a walker on the doorstep, prepare to explain your positions on Social Security and senior care. Your goal at that door is to tell your overarching story and to try to connect your campaign to that voter through something you know they care about. You are looking for a connection.
At the end of every positive conversation at the door—you thank the voter. You also ask them to stay in touch by giving you their email address, or volunteering, or pledging their vote. You ask them not just to listen, but to respond with questions and with actions.
When they do respond, you thank them and stay in touch. You don’t spam them by calling them at 11 at night or when they are busy; you respect them by following up with relevant information you know they care about.
It is the same online. Really—exactly the same.
That’s the key takeaway we want to leave you. Campaigning is campaigning.
Sure, there are some special and technical details to think about and address when you campaign online. But those are just details.
If you think about your online campaign as just one more way to make a personal connection and drive your overall message, you are thinking about it in a way that builds movements and wins campaigns.
Good luck! Remember—you can do this.
For more on how to build a digital strategy for your campaign, download the recently released e-book, 12 Must-Know Facts About Digital Media, by SpeakEasy Political founders Eric Jaye and Danielle Winterhalter.